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Three love letters to the Bay View from behind the walls

July 15, 2018

Editor’s note: It’s been a challenging year for the Bay View. With ad revenue falling and the cost of printing and mailing rising, we need a benefactor with the means not only to pay the production costs but to hire a new editor because your old editor, at 79, needs to share the load. And the new editor will need a staff. Lighting and inspiring our search for that help are the wonderful letters that prisoners write. Here are three that touched our souls.

“Save the Bay View” – Art: Roger “Rab” Moore, G-02296, HDSP C8-108, P.O. Box 3030, Susanville CA 96127

Dear Dr. Willie and Mary Ratcliff,

I’ve been very blessed to have been able to receive the Bay View for the last few years. I’ve been confined the last 39 years. I’ve lost contact with all family members as well as communication with the outside world.

Your newspaper has been my communication. It is a blessing any time I receive one.

But I don’t understand how can anyone say they love and appreciate the Bay View but won’t contribute any donation to see that it stays in print. People must understand that it takes money to make sure the Bay View stays in print.

It’s my lifeline being able to read it. I don’t have funds myself. If I did, I would make sure to send some type of funds to help it stay out there to help people like myself who have nothing truly to look forward to but the SF Bay View every month.

The SF Bay View is not just a prison newspaper. People must understand money is needed to save that newspaper we say we all love. Money is needed. Bless the Brother Troy Williams who tried to help.

I pray the people who feel it’s a free paper will contribute what they can to help save the Bay View. The paper is not free; it still takes funds to keep it out there.

Your newspaper has been my communication. It is a blessing any time I receive one.

I pray the best for you. You help a lot of people with that newspaper. I must say I’m one of them. Thank you.

Eugene ‘Nadir’ Menefield

Send our brother some love and light: Eugene Menefield, B-43126, RJD C13-101, 480 Alta Rd, San Diego CA 92179

*****

Dear Bay View,

I’m here in Charleston Correctional Center. I just borrowed a copy of your Bay View National Black Newspaper and it stoked fires of righteousness and reawakened a revolutionary spirit that caused me to write this letter.

This is my newspaper, my culture’s newspaper, the newspaper for the “People,” so it’s hard thinking now that due to lack of funding something as powerful as your righteousness could be lost. You say it takes a minimum of $7,000 a month to produce the newspaper, that you need benefactors.

It amazes me how so many business-savvy, conscious-minded free thinkers and freedom fighters – Black men and women who are well off – refuse to, or have yet to, invest in the Black community and struggle by supporting and investing and building the Bay View National Black Newspaper, when I have yet to see any other publication more concerned with the “cause” of our people, whether in prison or on the street.

This is my newspaper, my culture’s newspaper, the newspaper for the “People,” so it’s hard thinking now that due to lack of funding something as powerful as your righteousness could be lost.

Whether it be to support activists, organizations, politicians, musicians, women’s rights, criminal justice and/or challenge injustices, this newspaper, though based in San Francisco, concerns itself with global events – and momentum must be created to save it.

“San Francisco Bay View Fallen Angel” – Art: Julia “JHoney” Gregg, 10925 SDWP, 3200 East Hwy 24, Pierre SD 57501

Whether from fundraisers, charging for advocacy assistance, raising costs of subscriptions, reanalyzing marketing strategies, including certain columns, Black bake sales, GoFundMe pages, podcast creations or printing contents from computer printouts with less columns, something needs to be done.

This is a “for us by us” newsletter, i.e. a newspaper which the community as a whole should stand behind. We need to stand outside and stop taking an interest in white America and focus instead on Black America.

Please don’t let this paper die, people. We finally have our own Black newspaper. Let’s make it the best Black America has ever had, one that competes with major newspapers.

This is not just about San Francisco; this is about us. In closing, I am one man. I can’t do much being in prison, but included is a pledge to put my St. Louis potnas on point and spread the word. Plus, and on the way is a small donation in the spirit of Kujichagulia, self-determination to create for ourselves.

In closing, I truly hope you realize what you have in this newspaper. It is the “voice of the People” and must be saved no matter the sacrifice.

Malik Jahyal (IS-RA-EL Moses) Nettles

Send our brother some love and light: Malik Nettles, 507107, SECC, 300 E. Pedro Simmons Dr., Charleston MO 63834

*****

To the Bay View,

First, I would like to thank you for your hard work, dedication and the strong passion you have to deliver a message that hears the true understanding of how it is in life. I’ve been receiving the Bay View for a year now and it has brought so much enlightenment to my life and it allows me to see who I really am.

I’ve never had a newspaper I can read that moves my soul and spirit the way it does. I’ve learned so much about culture; it’s going to have a positive effect on me whenever I get released. I’ve also learned how important it is to know about politics. Our rights are so powerful but sometimes we fail to realize that because this life has consumed us with materialism.

I would like to thank you for your hard work, dedication and the strong passion you have to deliver a message that hears the true understanding of how it is in life. I’ve been receiving the Bay View for a year now and it has brought so much enlightenment to my life and it allows me to see who I really am.

That one person you send to benefits a lot of people on this unit. People are lined up waiting to read the Bay View. The Bay View has a powerful impact on us, and we all thank you for that.

After reading your last couple of papers, we are aware of us not being able to read this paper again if you don’t meet certain requirements. Well, the brothers and I are praying that this paper will continue to be sent here so we can continue to be taught by the love that is put into the Bay View.

Yuntrell Williams

Send our brother some love and light: Yuntrell Williams, 1467798, Ruben Torres Unit, 125 Private Rd 4313, Hondo, TX 78861.

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